Summer Clean Up Activities are in Full Swing

by | Aug 6, 2021 | High Rock Lake

We are in full swing of summer, boating, swimming, and just all around enjoying what High Rock Lake has to offer. But what are your thoughts when you visit a cove or beach area and see trash, or worse needles, on the land or water?

When the lake gets busy, trash happens, some by accident; a child’s flip flop flies off the boat, a hat gets swept off your head, understandable. But some items are not accidents, beer bottles, tobacco chew cans, plastic oil cans and tires all can be avoided. Having a pleasant day at the lake means not having to pick up after others who leave behind their junk simply because they couldn’t be bothered to pick up after themselves.

Good thing Rowan County has fantastic community-minded individuals and groups to take care of the well-being of High Rock Lake. And we need you to join us! There are ample opportunities in the coming weeks to clean, learn and enjoy the lake.

ROCO Creek Week 2021


Creek Week is a week-long celebration of local waters throughout North Carolina. The Third Annual Rowan Creek Week will take place August 21-28, 2021.  In conjunction with multiple environmental organizations and local municipal departments, Creek Week offers recreational, educational, and volunteer opportunities to allow everyone to enjoy and contribute to healthy waters in our area. (My Your Rowan Co-Connector, Madison Kluge has written about the importance of Creek Week in her August Greenspace blog.)

To kick off Rowan Creek Week, on Saturday, August 21, the Second Annual clean-up at Eagle Point Nature Preserve, off Bringle Ferry Road is scheduled from 9 a.m. – 12. The event is presented by Xylem Inc., a global water technology company that will provide plastic gloves, trash bags, and grabbers. Ducks Unlimited, Rowan County will be in attendance assisting with transporting trash away from the lake. Registration is not necessary, and the group will meet at the Trailhead for the distribution of products.

For more information: Rowan Creek Week: Eagle Point Nature Preserve Clean-Up


For those boaters born after January 1, 1988, two-day boater safety and education class is required by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. The class is scheduled for August 24 – 25th at Rowan County Rescue on Julian Road from 6 – 9 p.m. The course will be taught by Officer John Howell with NCWRC. Registration is required and can be done through NCWRC or Rowan Creek Week.


In conjunction with RoCo Creek Week, on Friday, August 27 from 5 – 7:45 p.m. the Rowan County Health Department and the Rowan County Sheriff Department will have a mobile Medicine Take Back tent located at Lake View Family Restaurant, Bringle Ferry Road, Salisbury. Owners Philip Hedrick and Jamie Peeler welcomed the collection initiative in the backyard of their business because it’s good for the community to safely collect old or unused meds and keep them out of High Rock Lake.

“This is the second year that we have done a mobile medicine take-back program. Last year, our program was at the Rowan County Fairgrounds. Due to the weather, we ended earlier than anticipated. We think this new location will afford ease for locals to discard these items properly,” said Amy Smith, with Rowan County Public Health.

Kelli Isenhour, Education Coordinator with Rowan Soil and Water Conservation District shared, “Any effort we can do together to keep our land and water clean and people safe, is a worthwhile endeavor.

“We will be set up behind the restaurant with a tent with signage. People can either drop off or simply do a ‘drive by’ and not have to get out of their car.  We selected this part of the county since we don’t have medicine drop boxes nearby as we do at the county Ag building which is open year-round. Other medications take-back boxes are strategically located throughout Rowan County at the following agencies. Weekly access to countywide medication take-back boxes are during regular business hours if you should need to dispose of any unwanted and/or unused medication throughout the year,” said Isenhour.

“Hosting the Medicine Take Back near the lake will bring awareness to our water resource. We will also have a drawing for Creek Week swag that evening.  Sheriff Auten and deputies will be on hand to dispose of the expired over-the-counter meds which includes liquids, pills, bottles, and needles. All items will be collected safely to keep away from children and event pets, and to prevent any type of misuse by individuals.

cleansweep wildlife officer

Tuckertown Dam


How and why does High Rock Lake levels fluctuate? If this is of interest, there is a tour of High Rock Lake dam scheduled on Friday, August 27th from 9 – 11:30 a.m. Space is limited, and registration is required through the Rowan Creek Week website. There are clothing requirements, i.e., closed-toed shoes. Other safety equipment will be provided for those on the tour. A boxed Lunch will be provided at the conclusion of the tour by the Yadkin Riverkeeper and Eagle Creek Renewable Energy.


I had the pleasure of being introduced to a young man who not only is passionate about the cleanliness of the lake and puts it into action. Bill Rierson is a teenager with an attitude, a positive one that will take him soaring. His parents bought their High Rock Lakehouse five years ago, and he is on a mission.

The Riersons’ neighbor is a spry 96-year-old WWII veteran, Greer Goodman, and they connected over the lake’s calm waters, the recreational activities that are afforded to those that come out, and the natural resource it provides for wildlife.

“I do this effort because it helps our community for the greater good! It’s kinda my own version of the HRLCleanSweep,” shared Bill.

Over one weekend in December 2020, during the pandemic, a dozen family and friends including Bill’s father, Lee, gathered to work the Mainsail cove area near their homes. They hauled in more than 100 bags of trash, tires, and barrels from the lake! It was a full weekend workload. Afterward, Bill was happy to have made a dent and help Greer and the local lake environment.

Bill has his sights on a career in the health field when he grows up. He has already created a foundation, Sugar Check Charity to raise funds to purchase supplies for clinics. His reason is personal, his dog had diabetes and this remarkable young man wants to help those that need financial assistance for their loved ones.

Well done, Bill!

Bill dad trash tires

cleansweep bags


The all-hands-on-deck annual lake Clean Sweep is scheduled for Saturday, September 18. In order to serve the lake community better, there are two main collection locations: N.C. Wildlife Access, Hwy. 8 Southmont and N.C. Wildlife Access, Bringle Ferry Road, Salisbury.

High Rock Lake Clean Sweep is a non-profit organization committed to having a consorted effort among its communities in Davidson and Rowan Counties for the environmental and recreational sake of High Rock Lake. The annual lake clean-up still needs volunteers and supporters for this worthwhile program to continue. And grow.

Sponsorships are available and partners will join a solid group of community-minded individuals and organizations such as Cube Hydro Carolinas/Eagle Creek Renewable Energy, Domino’s, Lexington BBQ, High Rock Lake Association, the River Rats, and Yadkin Riverkeeper among others.

The HRL CleanSweep is a 501C3 non-profit, any donation will be tax-deductible. The organization was formed in 2018 after a 25-year hiatus of the organized clean-up effort. A few of the board officers are second-generation lake residents and the annual assembly on both sides of the lake working together is of utmost importance for the overall well-being of High Rock Lake.

To request additional information on volunteerism or sponsorship, please send an email to

I would love to hear from you on what your favorite lake activity is, or someone that you would like me to feature in 2021. Please email me at


#itsaROCOthing         #lakeliving      #YourRowan   #BeAnOriginal     #HighRockLake   #LakeLife

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About The Author

Joyce Caron-Mercier

After decades of working within NASCAR, NHRA, IndyCar, and World of Outlaws, I opened up my own motorsports marketing agency, Mercier Marketing. My husband and I discovered High Rock Lake in the summer of 2009 while looking for a potential weekender home on a quiet lake within commutable distance to Charlotte and Mooresville. Three years ago, we became full-time lake residents on North Carolina’s second largest lake with our two great danes, Max and Molly. I currently serve as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the High Rock Lake Association. I am also active in the community with charitable events such as the Partners In Learning annual “Just As I Am” Fashion Show, High Rock Clean Sweep, and Rowan Chamber Dragon Boat Festival.